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Joe Berger announces retirement after 13 seasons

Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Joe Berger is calling it a career.

The 13-year pro announced his retirement Friday.

"After a lot of careful thought and prayer I have decided to retire from football," Berger wrote in a statement. "I have been fortunate to enjoy 13 seasons and have had the opportunity to play with so many good players and coaches. I was on some great teams before the Vikings, but it wasn't until I got to Minnesota that I really felt at home.

"For seven years I was able to play for a great organization and in front of the best fans. U.S. Bank Stadium is an incredible place to play football. My family and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I was given. I will miss my teammates and the game but am looking forward to this next chapter. So many people have had a part in my career and I hope some day I'll be able to personally thank each one of them. Thanks for the memories! SKOL Vikings!"

Berger had offers on the table from the Vikings and Detroit Lions to continue his career but opted to retire, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.

Berger was a sixth-round pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2005 but was waived before the start of the season. He bounced around to the Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys before finding a home in Minnesota.

The 35-year-old former center primarily played guard in 2017, starting 18 games, including playoffs. The Vikings signed free-agent and Minnesota native Tom Compton on Thursday to help replace the void left by Berger.

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